The practice of Voodoo includes the acknowledgment and worship of gods called Loas. These gods are believed to serve as mediums interfacing between the Creator god, Bondye, and mankind. These gods are of less significance and authority that the Supreme Being Bondye. They are appeased by sacrifices and ritual ceremonies and are consulted for their support, protection, and blessings.
There are several gods reverenced and consulted in Voodoo but the major eight Voodoo gods are:
Bondye: This is the Supreme god in the Voodoo practice. He is believed to be unknowable and unsearchable. Hence, He is not consulted directly for requests and divination. He is however related to via the lesser gods, Loas. These Loas are the mediums through the prayer requests and messages are presented to Bondye.
Papa Legba: This god is associated with crossroads, mischief, fertility, protection and colors red and black. He is the interface between the physical world and the spirit world. He is often depicted as an old man in rags and straw hats.
Maman Brigitte: This powerful and fierce goddess is the wife of Baron Samedi and is usually portrayed as a fair woman with brunette hair. She is said to be in charge of death and the underworld.
Baron Samedi: This is the god of death, feared and reverenced as the keeper of the cemeteries. He is also believed to be responsible for ushering souls into the place of the dead. He is associated with lewd and immoral behavior such as drinking, cursing and fornicating with other women. He is married to Maman Brigitte and often depicted as a skeletal frame with a hat and a pair of dark shades.
Erzulie: This goddess is connected to feminity, grace, female sexuality, beauty, love and all issues associated with motherhood. She is also associated with weeping as she is said to cry over desires that she fails to obtain. She is often depicted as a classy mixed-race lady dressed in costly clothing and accessories.
Ogun: This god worshiped in Voodoo practice is a result of syncretism with the Yoruba religion. He is known there as the Ogun Orisa and is associated with war and all metal works. He is also known for his extreme likeness to beautiful women and alcohol. He is also called upon for protection and justice and is symbolized by an iron machete.
Damballah: This god is said to be in charge of wisdom, knowledge and healing powers. He is depicted as a very large serpent who helped Bondye create the universe. It is believed he created them by moving his curly frame. He operates from land to seas and has Erzulie as his wife.
Oshun: This goddess reverenced in Voodoo practice is another product of syncretism with the Yoruba Religion. She is known as the goddess of wealth, beauty and sexuality. She is also known for being in charge of the oceans, streams, and lakes. Her devotees perform sacrifices and bring offerings to her at the river bank. She is said to be able to cause great prosperity for those who call upon her.